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(Review originally written at 3 December 2006)

This is your typical average sport/racing movies, that offers very little surprises but is well made and has an excellent cast.

The team behind "Top Gun", director Tony Scott, producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and of course actor Tom Cruise. team up again for this movie. No wonder that this movie is often referred to as; "Top Gun" on the race track. Also the story shows several similarities between the two movies.

So no, the story really is the strongest aspect of the movie. It's simple, formulaic for its genre and it offers very little surprises. Still the movie is good enough to watch, due to its fine directing, visual style and acting. The movie is filled with some great and well known actors.

Tom Cruise is great in this early heroic role as a rookie NASCAR driver with big ambitions. But even better and the one that steals the show in the movie is Robert Duvall. The movie further more also features Nicole Kidman, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes, Michael Rooker, Fred Dalton Thompson and John C. Reilly but most of their roles gets muddled into the story and 'action'. The movie is just a couple of minutes too short to give all the fine actors enough room to truly shine and flesh out their characters.

The love-story in the movie between the main characters played by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman doesn't seem to add enough to the story and movie in general. Nevetheless they share some great chemistry on the screen and still provide some good and interesting scene's. No wonder, they fall in love during the shooting on this movie and married the same year but divorced again nearly 11 years later.

Luckily the movie is not all about the love and drama. The movie also still focuses on the racing elements of the movie, which provides the movie with some well filmed 'action' driving sequence, though most of the images are obviously stock footage from real NASCAR races. Nevertheless those sequences and the movie in general should be enough to please the race fans and of course NASCAR fans in particular.

A good formulaic genre movie but perhaps for racing fans and/or fans of Tom Cruise only.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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